Before and After Neoliberalism

Volume 26, Nos. 1-2 Fall/Spring 2012-13

Editor's Note


Robert Pippin: Back to Hegel?

Robert Pippin reviews Slavoj Žižek’s Less than Nothing, a serious attempt to re-actualize Hegel in the light of Lacanian metapsychology. But does Žižek’s attempt to think Hegel with Lacan produce, as Žižek hopes, a political figuration adequate to the present? Or does it land us rather in the Hegelian zoo, along with such well-known specimens as the Beautiful Soul, the Unhappy Consciousness, and The Knight of Virtue?

András Bozóki: The Transition from Liberal Democracy:

The Political Crisis in Hungary

Political scientist and former Hungarian minister of culture András Bozóki lays bare the causes and consequences of the current political configuration in Hungary, where democratic institutions are being unmade, the opposition is being silenced, and, most alarmingly, ethnic tensions are being aggravated through nativist narratives.

Maria Chekhonadskikh and Alexei Penzin: From One Election to Another:

Breakthroughs and Deadlocks of the Anti-Putin Movement in Russia

Maria Chekhonadskikh and Alexei Penzin describe the public emergence of an opposition movement to the Putin government between the two stages of the recent federal elections in Russia. Whatever the immediate impact impact of these protests, has something irreversible already happened?

Imre Szeman: Conscience and the Common

It is easy to dismiss the appeal to conscience as liberal self-delusion. But conscience has been a paradigmatic concept in Western philosophy, an amorphous yet essential space in which the connections and conjunctions between individual and social take place. Imre Szeman speculates on whether the Left needs something like an idea of conscience in its arsenal of ideas.

Andrew Pendakis: Joking Seriously: The Artful Political Science of Besti Flokkurinn:

An Interview with the Best Party’s Heiða Kristín Helgadóttir

The complete collapse of Iceland’s banking system national economy left Icelanders ready for a new form of politics. Enter the “anarcho-surrealist” Best Party, led by comedian and artist Jón Gnarr, which claimed the mayoralty and a plurality of city council seats in Reykjavik’s 2010 civic election. Andrew Pendakis interviews the party’s general secretary and chief strategist.

Max Haiven: Finance Depends on Resistance, Finance is Resistance,
and Anyway, Resistance is Futile

What would the resistance to financialization look like? What if the concept of resistance is already a deeply flawed one? What if finance already depends on resistance to continue its expansion? What if finance is already a form of resistance? Max Haiven argues that we need to constitute a new political rhetoric that more accurately names our political circumstances.

Sarah Brouilette: Antisocial Psychology

Sarah Brouillette explores the emergence of social scientific studies of the importance of creativity and innovation for the economy — a link that has become a mantra in the twenty-first century. Brouillette shows that, long before Richard Florida, artists and writers offered organizational psychologists and management theorists models of the ideal worker in a knowledge economy.

Evan Mauro: The Death and Life of the Avant-Garde:

Or, Modernism and Biopolitics

Evan Mauro offers an alternative genealogy of the twentieth-century avant-garde organized around the concept of “life” at its core. While a growing consensus has found the seeds of neoliberalism in mid-century vanguards, Mauro takes this history back further, finding a struggle between the avant-garde and the structure of the state constitutive of twentieth-century politics.

Jackson Petsche: The Importance of Being Autonomous:

Toward a Marxist Defense of Art for Art’s Sake

Jackson Petsche explores the positive potential, for the present moment, of “l’art pour l’art,” as mobilized by the Decadent writers of the fin de siècle. Petsche’s essay is the winner of the 2010 Michael Sprinker Graduate Writing Competition, which recognizes an essay or dissertation chapter that engages with Marxist theory, scholarship, pedagogy, or activism.

Matthew MacLellan: Capitalism’s Many Futures:

A Brief History of Theorizing Post-Capitalism Technologically

From Hilferding to Hayek, Schumpeter to Keynes, and Galbraith to Daniel Bell, and in surprisingly congruent ways given their differences of outlook and opinion, many of the most prominent and influential economists and social theorists of the twentieth century imagined the outcome of technological and knowledge society to be the end of capitalism.

Book Reviews

Robert Ryder: Immer Aktuell

Robert Ryder reviews Miriam Hansen’s final book, Cinema and Experience.

David Janzen: Void of Debt: Crisis and the Remaking of Indebtedness

David Janzen reviews Richard Dienst’s The Bonds of Debt.

Andrew Pendakis: Moderation and Its Discontents: Liberalism, Totality, and the Limits of Centrist Prudence

Andrew Pendakis reviews Michael Berubé’s The Left at War.

Adam Carlson: Acropolis, Montreal: Charles Taylor at 80

Adam Carlson offers us an account of his experience at Charles Taylor at 80: An International Conference.